Saturday, 20 December 2008

Reading Tom Clancy in Valparaíso

I guess it is human nature to have opinions about a lot of things one really knows nothing about. I, for instance, know - without ever having read one - that the books of Tom Clancy are trash. I'm not a hundred percent sure why I think that but I suppose it has mainly to do with the fact that these books sell well. In other words, I do not bother reading them. But then, while spending several weeks in Valparaíso, the Chilenian port city, one of my favourite places on this planet, I came across a copy of "The Teeth of the Tiger" in my B&B (which I highly recommend: http://www.bbvalparaiso.cl/elmirador.htm). I read it and - contrary to quite some excellent literature - I still remember the story. Here are some excerpts that I liked:

By this time, all of America was watching TV, with reporters in New York and Atlanta telling America what they knew, which was little, and trying to explain the events of the day, which they did with the accuracy of grammar school children. They endlessly repeated the hard facts they had managed to gather, and hauled in “experts” who knew little but said a lot. It was good for filling airtime, at least, if not to inform the public.

The trouble with thinking deep thoughts is that you still have to cut the grass, and put food on the table.

These (European) people were so self-destructively open, so afraid to offend those who would just as soon see them and their children dead and their entire culture destroyed.

Those who denied God could be every bit as dangerous as those worked in His Name.

The problem is that no matter what you do, there’s somebody who won’t like it much. Like a joke. No matter how funny it is, somebody will be offended by it.

There’s an old saying: “If you’re not confused, you’re misinformed.”

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